Minister Sealy: Atlantis At The Top Of Its Game

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Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy (FP)

Atlantis Submarines Barbados has been praised for its many years of success.????

The accolades were made by Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, as he addressed the 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony at Hilton Barbados last Saturday night.

Mr. Sealy observed that it was no wonder that the company, which exemplified sustainability and valued its staff, continued to do so well.

"I offer my sincere congratulations in achieving your silver jubilee…a feat that could not have been reached without the right attitude to challenges and opportunities…I believe that other tourism entities and attractions in Barbados should look to Atlantis Submarines as a study in best practice for sustainable tourism development," he said.

Alluding to the history of the company, Mr. Sealy remarked that, since the 80s, "[Atlantis] has been winning one award or another at every single tourism awards, whether held under the auspices of the Ministry, or the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association…for almost its entire existence,?? he said.

Mr. Sealy commended the company for achieving all eight pillars of Barbados’ tourism product, which include a focus on product development and standards and regulations.?? The Minister observed that Atlantis’ accomplishments spoke to the quality of their product and lauded its achievement as "the first attraction in the world to achieve the Green Globe and Green certification [double award]…The Caribbean Tourism Organisation has also recognised Atlantis Submarines Barbados as the first attraction in the Caribbean to achieve the internationally [recognised] Hospitality Assured certification," he said.

In further highlighting the importance of the tourism sector’s pillars of development, the Minister drew attention to three, namely: sustainable and responsible tourism development; product development; and effective participation and collaboration.??

In reference to the third, Minister Sealy emphasised that "Barbados’ success as a tourism destination can be attributed, in large measure, to the good working relationship between government entities and the private sector…[as seen with] the creation of a vision statement [for the industry]; and the extensive collaboration among public and

private stakeholders, special interest groups and the general public on the Draft White Paper on the Development of Tourism in Barbados.?? That, too, is soon to be considered by Cabinet; [and the development] of Barbados’ first Master Plan for Tourism," he stated.??

General Manager of Atlantis Submarines Barbados, Roseanne Myers, noted that the company continued to evolve and adapt to market conditions.

"…we decided to use the slower months to dedicate ourselves to becoming ???green’ certified…[A] similar [thing] was repeated in 2011 as we became recertified and embarked on the Hospitality Assured certification, for the same reason – things were slow, and [we] felt that we needed to challenge ourselves internally," she revealed.

Continuing to use what may be deemed as negative conditions to create positive results, Mrs. Myers remarked: "Unfortunately, we had to close the Atlantis St. Thomas/Virgin Islands operation and we took receipt of a second submarine…. and [we] have been using it on busy cruise ship days, in order to capture some of the business that is there when you have [many] ships in port; and that strategy has helped us in these slower times," she said.

The Atlantis General Manager also reported that the company, which was launched in 1987, had safely completed 45,000 dives in Barbados, and had served well over a million passengers. She also noted that they had seen increased participation from Barbadians and persons throughout the region over the past 25 years, and added that "the new Scandinavian charter [flight] has been doing very well for us."??

Mrs. Myers pointed out that the key to Atlantis’ success was having "a core of very dedicated and like-minded individuals…In our view the glass is always half full, always."??

Receiving awards for 25 years of service were: Roseanne Myers; Robert Hinds; Esther Forde; Anthony Pitt; Daria Welch and Earlyn Shuffler.?? Awards for service of 15 years or more were: Wayne Scott, Hugh Forde, Franz Taylor, Peter Gollop and Kerwin Bellamy.?? Also recognised were industry partners: the Ministry of Tourism; the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association; the Barbados Tourism Authority; and the Barbados Port Inc.

nekaelia.hutchinson@barbados.gov.bb

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